Thursday, January 04, 2007

Feeling much better, thank you

In my most recent post I spoke out against an editorial that appeared The Courier. In all fairness the editor was making a valid point in condemning the Libyan court for sentencing those heath workers to death. The point was however diluted when she brought in the Middle Age mentality and that the civilized world does not do judicial murder or corrupts the political process. It was the Middle Ages slam that first fired me up. To paraphrase Gilbert, all reporters should pay a tax whenever they mention Galileo, The Inquisition, The Crusades or the Middle Ages to prove a moral superior point. In this way they would have to try to come up with new knee jerks or actually study those things to find the truth.

In the reply box of my post, jimmyv suggested I send my post to the editor – so I did. This was her reply to my letter:
“From the ignorant editor,
For the vast majority of Europeans the Middle Ages were a time of ignorance and widespread illiteracy. There were, of course, exceptions.
Give me a break, please.
Cindy Moorhead”

I don’t know maybe it’s that I’m just now getting my game back or there was a tone in that response that sounds a lot like, ‘You’re a moron. Leave me alone’. So I had to write her back.

Dear MS Moorhead,

Thank you for clearing that up for me. Since illiteracy was as pervasive in the Muslim world as it was in Europe during the Middle Ages when you said ignorant I thought you meant stupid. Setting aside the fact that it was Middle Age Europe that established the first public schools to combat that illiteracy it is still true the typical European Middle Age person was stupid, like when a man planted an Apple seed he actually thought he would have a tree bearing Apples that would feed him and his family. Where as today we realize that when you plant an Apple seed random chance mutation takes over and he is just as likely to get Marigolds as Apples. And yes they were superstitious. They believed that Fairies lived in the woods and in the reality of Dragons. Unlike today because we know that Aliens are in area 51 and the photographic proof have made the existence of Big Foot a certainty. Or by superstitious do you mean (gasp) Catholic?

You asserted that the Middle Age “Muslims were at the forefront of medical and scientific advances” that is debatable, but what is not left for question is their prowess in horse breeding and coffee cultivation. This has led to those wondrous things like Off Track Betting and Starbucks. Now the men and women of Middle Age Europe planted some seeds too in the area of Science, Art and Philosophy that have given us some minor trifles like Heart Transplants, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, and John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Yes they are small in comparison to Starbucks but nice none-the-less.

As for your suggestion to give you a break I would love to do that. Put down your copy of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil and get a copy of G. K. Chesterton’s Everlasting Man. It will be a good read as you sip on your double latte.

Thank you again for your enlighten response,


If you would also like to drop her line she can be reached at
For those of you who have kept me in your prayers for the past several months during my unfortunate period of emotional turmoil – thank you.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Alan. I'm glad you are doing better. Sorry for getting you in hot water with Ms. Moorhead, but don't worry; you planted the GK Chesterton seed into her mind. Who knows, she may start reading your blog.

A Secular Franciscan said...

Clever response.
Did you send it already? If not, and what you posted in the blog is an exact copy, you might want to check the spelling.

Trubador said...

I always enjoy witnessing a good smackdown.


Alan Capasso said...

Thanks Lee, my fingers were moving faster than my head (that darn dyslexia) but I did the fix for her after the post.
Or, as my dad used to say when I brought home a bad grade on a spelling test “Lord deliver me from the person you only knows one way to spell a word.” He always had a way of making me feel better – didn’t help my study habits - but I felt better.

Anonymous said...

I must say I don't agree with defending the Middle Ages and the rampant anti-intellectual attitude that it maintained. Greece was the pinnacle of Western Civilization intellectually and thus, at least in the opinion of myself and Nietzsche, culturally.

What the Greeks accomplished with a small population over a couple hundred years we have hardly been able to match in five hundred years. (Culturally, I mean.)